Posted by: tomfluce | October 26, 2013

UPDATE: EDUCATION – LAWSUIT GRAND RAVINE

UPDATE ON THE HOPE FOR HAITI:EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM YEAR #3 – CHILDREN FROM THE GRAND RAVINE COMMUNITY.  UPDATE ON THE LAWSUIT BEFORE THE INTERAMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL WITH SETON HALL LAW UNIVERSITY AND AUMOHD.

     A great THANK YOU! To all our sponsors, old and new, and to our friends who support our fundraisers Visit our website: http://haitischolarships.weebly.com

170 impoverished students from Grand Ravine in Port-Au-Prince finished year 1 in June 2011.

170 impoverished students from Grand Ravine in Port-Au-Prince finished year 1 in June 2011.

HHE has been able to pay the monthly tuition fee for our 100 students through April 2013!  This is the first time that this has been possible since we began. We realized we needed to reduce the number of students from 170 in the first two years to 100 this year in order to be able to sustain the program. With the generosity of an increased number of individual sponsors and donors and with the successful fundraising events listed here we are well on or way to meeting this year’s budget. Now we’re looking ahead toward getting a headstart on the 4th year of our commitment to these children who are in such need and are counting on us. Editor’s note: at the event reported on below, “Haiti Cultural Night” we received $20,000!  That has given us a headstart for year #4.  And will give us impetus to take care of other problems: hungry students, water needy students, students at risk of disease.

Donations: Attn. Treasurer Elena Gaudet educatehaiti@aol.com Haiti Liaison, Tom Luce 510-229-3571 hhecoordinator@gmail.com  510-229-3571 View our Hope for Haitiwebsite with a click:  HHE Website

*** For our Haiti Cultural Night and Visit from Haiti of Mr. Point-du-Jour, May 18, 2013 see our website:  http://haitischolarships.weebly.com

PICS FOR YEAR #4

Orion

Happy HHE students from Orion school, front row from left, teachers, Mr. Jean-Gilles (3 L) assistant to HHE Haiti Liaison, Mr. Point-du-Jour (4 L), overall Manager (volunteer) of the scholarship program.

                              DISEASE PREVENTION AT SCHOOL

Last month when our Haitian program reps. visited our schools they found a program that  teaches all students how to prevent and treat the tropical disease, “LF.” A special medical unit at Notre Dame University in Indiana has been working on this problem since 1992. 45% of the Haitian population is infected with this disease.

filiariasis1

Flyer explains “Lymphatic Filariasis” (LF), a mosquito borne disease that swells body parts to enormous debilitating sizes.

      Students at Orion (40 HHE students attend) are receiving information  and medication for L.F.  Just being in school and not in the streets is a prevention against all sorts of diseases and violence against children.  Here they receive additional care.

Students at Orion (40 HHE students attend) are receiving information and medication for L.F. Just being in school and not in the streets is a prevention against all sorts of diseases and violence against children. Here they receive additional care.

OUR OTHER THREE HOPE FOR HAITI SCHOOLS: (photos taken February of 2013 at gatherings to thank St. Columba)

Brother Mareus school has 20 of our students who are very happy with their 3rd year in school.

Brother Mareus school has 20 of our students who are very happy with their 3rd year in school.

Messiah school has 20 students.

Messiah school has 20 students.

Mary Magdalen school, part of St. Bernadette parish covering the Grande Ravine area, has 20 students.

Mary Magdalen school, part of St. Bernadette parish covering the Grande Ravine area, has 20 students.

                                            SLOW WHEELS OF JUSTICE BEGIN TO MOVE FORWARD: STOP THE VIOLENCE!

stopviolenceIdalia François is an icon of the victims of government sponsored terror in Grand Ravine that occurred  in 2005 and 2006. She was victimized 3 times (son killed, business and home destroyed.  After many long stalls (see link above), the campaign for justice has been slowly moving forward since then.  This past fall a group of student lawyers from Seton Hall took the case of several hundred Grand Ravine victims to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to make claims for reparation.

The Community Council for Human Rights of Grand Ravine (CHRC-GR) has been organized since 2005 to advocate for human rights for the people of Grand Ravine. The Council is non-partisan and committed to non-violence. When the St. Columba Haiti committee asked the CHRC-GR what was most needed in their community they identified education for impoverished families as the most important human right that needed to be addressed.   

setonhall  
In February the leadership of the CHRC-GR with Pres. Point-du-Jour (back row fifth from l.) and student lawyers from Seton Hall met to make videos of the testimony of victims in preparation for the hearing at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in D.C. in the near future. Pres. Point-du-Jour is the volunteer manager of the Hope for Haiti scholarship program.

While St. Columba is making it possible for 100 of the poorest children in Grand Ravine to attend school and have hope for a better future, law students from Seton Hall University(click to read story) in New Jersey have been helping the people in Grand Ravine to find some justice for their community.

Sept. 3, 2006 Grand Ravine, Haiti, Esterne Bruner, the second president of the Grand Ravine Human Rights Council gives Tom Luce a tour of hundreds of burned-out homes. Two weeks later Bruner was brutally assassinated for his human rights work. The work of the case at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is based on this crime and one in 2005, a massacre at a soccer match attended by 5,000 people, orchestrated by the Haitian National Police.

Sept. 3, 2006 Grand Ravine, Haiti, Esterne Bruner, the second president of the Grand Ravine Human Rights Council gives Tom Luce a tour of hundreds of burned-out homes. Two weeks later Bruner was brutally assassinated for his human rights work. The work of the case at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is based on this crime and one in 2005, a massacre at a soccer match attended by 5,000 people, orchestrated by the Haitian National Police.



HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPION COMING TO ST. COLUMBA – MAY 18, 2013


Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, President #4 of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council

Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, President #4 of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council

Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour (l) is the 4th volunteer president of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (GR-CHRC).  In 2005 citizens of Grand Ravine formed the GR-CHRC as part of a city-wide plan to gain recognition and freedom from partisan, violent struggles rather than continue with the political infighting that had plagued their community for years. The second president, Esterne Bruner, the father of six young children, was assassinated for promoting human rights for his community in a non-partisan and non-violent way.  The third president, Frantzco Joseph, had to move out of Grand Ravine due to threats against him, his wife, and two children.  He still voluteers with the GR-CHRC and helps with the Hope for Haiti scholarship program. As noted above Mr. Point-du-Jour is heavily involved in the case being brought before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

l-r Frantzco Joseph, Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles, Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, leadership team for scholarship program)

l-r Frantzco Joseph, Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles, Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, leadership team for scholarship program)

Choosing the specific students entailed much diplomacy between children and families and the community at large.  Then the process of identifying schools supportive of vulnerable children began.  Several schools close enough to avoid busing were available, all dedicated to working with inner-city children.  The GR-CHRC had to organize the purchase of school supplies–books, pencils, bags, uniforms.  Then distribute them.  And finally Mr. Point-du-Jour became the paymaster of tuition with each student at each school. 

Because St. Columba was not able to raise all the funds at the beginning of the school year Mr. Point-du-Jour had to negotiated with schools so that monthly payments could be make by St. Columba.  Making sure the students were staying school, following their academic work, creating special projects to communicate with St. Columba, and accounting for St. Columba grant money–all this had to be done while Mr. Point-du-Jour is doing his own job of teaching and being a husband and a father of two girls. He is assisted especially by Frantzco Joseph, the third presient of GR-CHRC, and Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles who is the assistant to Tom Luce who is the Haiti Liaison for St. Columba, Tom Luce. The more credibility the GR-CHRC gains in achieving real human rights for the community, the more it can accomplish, the safer and more respected members will be as community leaders.



-- 
Tom Luce, 
1515 Fairview St. Apt. C	
Berkeley, California 94703-2317
E-mail: hhecoordinator@gmail.com
Home Tel: 510-229-3556
Office Tel. 510-229-3571
Skype Tel. 510-423-0620 (mobile)
Skype <tomluce>
Posted by: P. Luce | December 28, 2012

GRAND RAVINE ON WAY TO WASHINGTON!

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI”

The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah (Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti, formerly a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is still a concerned association dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog: (for an archive of previous bulletins and history)

Tom Luce, Editor E-mail: Tom Luce

Dear Friends,


GRAND RAVINE ON WAY TO WASHINGTON!

I’m writing you because I want to share
with you some wonderful news! On Dec. 18, our Grand Ravine friends, victims of government sponsored crimes, took a major step in obtaining justice by filing a complaint against Haiti before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR). The long, slow journey to justice has moved forward a giant step. Hooray for the Grand Ravine Community Council for Human Rights (GR-CHRC)! True “Legal Empowerment”!

On behalf of the Grand Ravine victims, AUMOHD and the Center For Social Justice-CSJ of the Law School of Seton Hall University in Newark, N.J, have filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR,) of the Organization of American States (OAS) with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The petition demands IACHR hold Haiti accountable for failing to provide justice
and reparations for crimes committed with government involvement in 2005-2006.See
PetititionIACHR for a PDF copy of the IACHR petition.

Of course our friends at AUMOHD, especially Pres.Evel Fanfan are the primary reason that this has happened. All of us are also extremely grateful to the CSJ of Seton Hall and the co-supervising lawyers, Atty.Lori Nessel and Atty. Rachel Lopez. And we–Hurah– are glad to have played a part in this news-in-the-making since 2005. Justice, the peaceful way, is slow, but it’s the only way. Our accompaniers worked
on the ground with the Grand Ravine victims beginning in 2005, supported
by our 1000+ members. We sent petitions in 2006 testifying to the truth
of the charges against the government. See our history of Grand Ravine
on our blog. Grand Ravine friends

I am looking for money again, even though I don’t have any tax exemption status. Please do think about sending some help for another year for Gentilhomme (l) who has continued to volunteer with me in many ways, especially in
the last 3 years in forming the program, “Hope
For Haiti:Education”,
sending 100 impoverished students to
school, for which I am a consultant at St. Columba Parish, Oakland. With Gentilhomme, those of us who wish to remain involved can have his valuable collaboration in doing human rights work. In effect we are providing Grand
Ravine with concrete, effective “justice”, the education of
impoverished children. See below Donate

Happy New Year!

Thanks for your support in the past.

Best personal regards.

Tom Luce


THE STORY

Click on the title
of the article you wish to read.

1. Grand Ravine On Way To Washington

2. Champion of Justice: Atty. Evel Fanfan, Pres. Aumohd

3. A Leading Martyr For justice: Esterne Bruner

4. Current Champions, Volunteers with the GR-CHRC

5. Gentilhomme

6. “The Challenges of Judicial
Reform” by Judge Fleury

7. DONATE


GRAND RAVINE ON WAY TO WASHINGTON!
by Tom Luce

Below, current members of the Grand Ravine Community
Human Right Council (GR-CHRC) (second from left, Mr. Point-du-Jour, #4
president; 5th from left, Frantzco Joseph, #3 President) oversee a scholarship
program for 100 students

The
entire petition can be seen on CSJ’s web site.

CSJ Director Lori Nessel emphasizes that,
“the Grand Ravine massacre case is an important test for the new
Haitian Prime Minister. He must determine the extent to which government
officers will be held accountable for their breaches of human rights.
Haiti cannot hope to move forward as a country if it does not address
its past, including, and especially, the Grand Ravine massacre.”

The IACHR has been receiving an increasing number of
petitions regarding human rights abuses especially since the earthquake
by advocates for abuse of women, refugees, even LGBT people.

Those of us committed to non-violent action
for the victims of human rights abuse have a right to get apoplectic over
such a step that this filing represents. The atrocities in Grand Ravine
happened during the outlaw years of 2004-6. This was after President Aristide
was illegally ousted. A so-called Prime Minister, Gérard Latortue,
a Boca Raton resident for at least 10 years was illegally designated against
the Haitian Constitution at the behest of the US and its allies. This
is the man who called the ex-army outlaws, “Freedom Fighters”
who killed civilians leading up to President Aristide’s ouster by the
US. He began undoing the justice that was done during the Aristide years
including the “Raboteau
Case”
case. (in this article you will see that although Mr.
Latortue managed to discharge those found guilty of a government massacre,
there were some good consequences.) So the war-by-proxy (poor people fighting
partisan political battles) was continued with impunity.

The difference here is the non-violent,
non-partisan work of the GR-CHRC. They show that some justice is attainable
fairly. They have worked hard to bring their case to the IACHR, counting
on AUMOHD and CSJ to give them the technical support. We don’t have to
wait until the IAHCR gets the Grand Ravine case on its
agenda. There is much prep work to do–gaining international support,
obtaining money to bring the witnesses to D.C. As the next step approaches
I will make sure that ways to help financially will be made clear.

To list


CHAMPION
FOR JUSTICE: ATTY. EVEL FANFAN, PRESIDENT OF AUMOHD

Here
is Atty. Evel Fanfan with Idalia François and daughter and Gaëlle
Celestin, leader of GFANM, a partner with AUMOHD for women’s rights. Here
they are in Grand Ravine in 2009 very warmly connected to Atty Fanfan
and the non-violent process of obtaining justice that has now reached
the IACHR..It is to be noted that AUMOHD
has been providing the legal assistance for all its community groups for
free. This includes the minute details of certifying dead bodies, showing
ownership of property. Click
here for story: “Idalia:
believer in non-violent justice

Atty Fanfan continues leading with AUMOHD
and the GR-CHRC to keep up the drive to obtain justice as has happened
with the petition to the IACHR. Here he is at the one year memorial ceremony
for Esterne Bruner (see next story). AUMOHD, with Atty
Fanfan’s leadership has begun a program in memory of Esterne, a memorial
in the AUMOHD office and starting a sustainable living
community in his name. This valiant fighter himself continues to receive
death threats for the work he does serving the poor with free legal assistance.
On October 23 shots were fired at him and threats renewed.

AUMOHD
works also for union/worker rights. Here is Atty Fanfan in AUMOHD‘s
streetmobile, “Legal Assistance in Solidarity with workers”.
His recent death threats are connected to his strong defense of a living
wage. He also distributed the worker code in Creole. A man and a service
that deserves 100% support for those interested in non-violent, non-partisan
social justice.

To list


A LEADING MARTYR FOR JUSTICE: ESTERNE BRUNER

The
real “stuff” of non-violent action is the courage to accept
death defending justice without inflicting violence in return. The Grand
Ravine Community Human Rights Council-GR-CHRC with support
from AUMOHD has practiced non-violence since it was formed
in Aug. ’05. It’s second leader, Esterne Bruner, age 38, who was twice
victimized–’05 house burned losing his workshop; ’06 entire house burned,
shot in arm. Esterne worked ceaselessly for his whole community gathering
support from AUMOHD, helping victims, fighting for community
goals like the re-opening of the Aristide-built high school taken over
by the UN troops in ’04. He adopted a girl orphaned by the ’06 massacres.
Esterne accompanied me on Sept. 3, 2006 to view the damage done to Grand
Ravine, over 200 homes torched, creating over 1000 refugees. We inspected
every street and talked with leaders about rebuilding. On Sept. 21, he
was brutally assassinated by people belonging to violent groups. He is
a poignant part of the IACHR petition.

To list


CURRENT CHAMPIONS, VOLUNTEERS WITH GR-CHRC!

Here
are Frantzco Joseph (l), 3rd president of GR-CHRC (also driven away by
violence but still serving) Jean-Ernest Point du Jour, current President,
with scholarship students thanking St. Columba parish. In ’10 and ’11
170 students were organized and managed by these volunteers. Year 3, 100
students continue to be managed by the council. If you are specifically
interested in supporting this program, go to Hope
for Haiti:Education
Although no longer in existence as a
corporation, Hurah is, thus, helping with direct human rights assistance
to Grand Ravine, education being a basic human right. Note: for a transcript
of Frantzco Joseph’s testimony about his account of the 05 massacre, click
Frantzco

To list


GENTILHOMME JEAN-GILLES:

Gentilhomme
Jean-Gilles (rt), volunteer/trainee with Hurah from 07-09, volunteer since
’10 till today, has been an invaluable partner with the Hope for Haiti:Education
program. He is an invaluable presence on the ground in the human rights
community in Haiti. Please consider donating even a small amount to meet
a basic budget, $3,000, for the coming year. This purchases his living
space rent, telephone, internet, car repairs and gas expenses.

To list


“The Challenges of Judicial Reform”
by Judge Fleury

Don’t
forget, justice for Haitians requires judicial reform!

In 2008 Hurah partnered with the foremost
Haitian expert in judicial law, Honorable Judge Jean Sénat Fleury
to create a reform program featuring free legal assistance to the poor.
It was called “Watchdog”. This was to begin just as the earthquake
arrived. The quake destroyed judicial buildings and killed many judicial
allies. We translated his book, nonetheless, “The Challenges
of Judicial Reform In Haiti
.” The quake didn’t make this work
obsolete. Judge Fleury’s book is still available at LULU
PRESS
Buy one and help social justice! If you wish multiple
copies we’ll give you a good discount.

Thanks!.

To list


Check Hurah’s Blog:
for an archive of previous bulletins and history, especially for Grand Ravine


To Unsubscribe: E-mail Tom
Luce


To Donate:

Hurah now wishes to provide for some basic
expenses for our partner, Gentilhomme, in Haiti, so that we can continue
to support him to further human rights in Haiti. Donations for transportation,
gas, internet, phone, rent are welcome. He keeps us in touch with many
important people and can travel thanks to our grants. When we have specific
program funding needs we will send out an appeal. Last year we did receive
several generous gifts and we kept within our $3,000 budget. Remember,
we are no longer a tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation.

Thank you so much!

1. Check to “Hurah”, 1515 Fairview
St. Apt. C, Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. PayPal

2. DWOLLA:
DWOLLA is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying
to move away from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer–or
nothing if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation
to Hurah
at this address:president@hurah.org

Posted by: P. Luce | November 23, 2012

SHOTS AND THREAT AGAINST ATTY. FANFAN

 

“PEACEFUL
JUSTICE FOR HAITI “

11.13.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah

(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti, dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)

Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)

Tom Luce, Editor, E-mail: Tom
Luce

ALERT: MURDER
ATTEMPT AND THREATS TO ATTY FANFAN

Not surprisingly in the escalating climate
of old style bravado and threats of violence, human rights defenders have
come under attack in the last year–journalists, lawyers, civil rights
leaders. Recently the new government of Michel “Micky” Martelly
has reportedly attempted to arrest human rights lawyers. Atty. Mario Joseph’s
office has been threatened to be burned and closed. See ARTICLE
in Center for Justice and Accountability.

The latest is an attempt on Attorney Evel
Fanfan, President of AUMOHD. He has been under threat many times before
since beginning in ’03 to watchdog the governments involved in Haiti as
well as other perpetrators of abuses. Now he has been fighting for worker
rights especially the issue of minimum wage. He is also continuing on
the long struggle for justice for the citizens of Grand Ravine hit twice,
05-06 with government involvement in massacres and home burnings

Below you can read an alert sent out by
Atty. Fanfan on Oct.25.

A couple of organizations have put his name
on a petition to the authorities to support him. A MEMO
has been put out by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti IJDH
giving various official addresses. Atty Fanfan’s name was not on this
alert.

At the bottom of Atty Fanfan’s alert I have
printed my letter in French specifically to the officials. You may want
to send your own. If you want me to help you, send me an e-mail president@hurah.org

Thanks!

Tom

===========================

Attempted assassination and death threats against Evel FANFAN

Atty. Evel FANFAN

Executive Director of AUMOHD

16, Delmas 49,

Phone: 509-37548022

Tuesday evening, around 8: 30pm, I returned from a planning meeting
with a group of worker victims when two vehicles (a gray 4 wheeler with
BB-37863 on the registration plate and a black mini bus) came from opposite
directions and parked, blocking access to my vehicle.

I waited for 4 to 5 minutes from a little
distance so that they could end their long
conversation. After about 5 minutes waiting without success, I blew my
horn a little, to attract the attention of two (2) drivers who had not
moved an inch. So, I called the CRO, the police Central Intelligence Office
of the West at 3-838-1111, a number that the former Director of the
Haitian National Police, Mr Mario ANDRESOL gave me in case of difficulty.
I talked and explained the situation to the officer in charge who asked
me to give a description of the two vehicles in question.

As I was finishing up the conversation with the officer of the CRO, the
driver of the bus had moved his vehicle a little. Then, the 4wheeler
driver moved and opened the door of his vehicle to block any full access
to my car. I moved back a little with my vehicle and asked him what was going
on. In response, he took out his weapon and fired two shots in my direction
at the height of my vehicle. Since there were a few curious people who
gathered not far from the place of the event, he told me quite forcefully:
“if it were not for the presence of these people, I would take you
into my car to murder you there.

With these words, I again called the CRO
who asked me to go to the nearest police station, so, I went to the Delmas
33 police station and wrote a complaint against this armed man who tried
to murder me and promised to do so at the appropriate time.

I just want to inform you and ask you to do your best at this time when
I’m trying to put pressure on the Haitian State for the minimum wage,
for the massacre of Grand Ravin and other cases. They very well could try
to kill me.

Atty. . Evel FANFAN
Executive Director of AUMOHD

=====================================

1. Ministre de la Justice et de la Securité
Publique
M. Jean Renel Sanon
18 Avenue Charles Summer
Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Cher M. Sanon:

Je vous écris pour vous alerter à propos d’un attentat contre
la vie de Me. Evel Fanfan, Président de AUMOHD, 16 Delmas 49 509-37548022,
le 23 octobre, 2012. Il a aussi été menacé à
mort ce soir et il a rapporté ce crime à la sation de police
à Delmas 33

Je connais de près Me. Fanfan depuis 2004. J’ai été
dans les rues avec lui avec les victimes de massacres. Je connais les
programmes de son bureau pour protéger les droits des travailleurs.
Il travaille des années pour la justice des victimes des massacres
et brûlage des maisons à Grand Ravine.Je compte sur vous
d’apporter la justice dans les affaires de la société haïtienne.

Merci.

Tom Luce

2. Me Gerald Norguaisse, Commissaire du Gouvernement de Port-au Prince
Parquet du Tribunal de Première Instance de Port-au-Prince
Palais de Justice
Blvd. Harry Truman
Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Email:

Cher M. Le Commissaire:

Je vous écris pour vous alerter à propos d’un attentat contre
la vie de Me. Evel Fanfan, Président de AUMOHD, 16 Delmas 49 509-37548022,
le 23 octobre, 2012. Il a aussi été menacé à
mort ce soir et il a rapporté ce crime à la sation de police
à Delmas 33

Je connais de près Me. Fanfan depuis 2004. J’ai été
dans les rues avec lui avec les victimes de massacres. Je connais les
programmes de son bureau pour protéger les droits des travailleurs.
Il travaille des années pour la justice des victimes des massacres
et brûlage des maisons à Grand Ravine.Je compte sur vous
d’apporter la justice dans les affaires de la société haïtienne.

Merci.

Tom Luce


Hurah’s
Blog
: for an archive of previous bulletins and history, especially
for Gran Ravin

To Unsubscribe: E-mail Tom
Luce

To Donate:

1. Check to “Hurah” 1515 Fairview
St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. PayPal

2. DWOLLA:
DWOLLA is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying
to move away from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer–or
nothing if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation
toHurah at this address:
president@hurah.org

 

Posted by: P. Luce | September 10, 2012

Update: Camp Grace, Mr. Mario Andresol

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,
dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor

9.10.12

For All Supporters
of Human Rights For Quake Refugees!

Dear Friends:


I- CAMP GRACE: The latest on the AI website regarding Camp Grace which was reportedly handling refugee campers violently and evicting them is still dated June 2012. There it says Hundreds of Haitian families are facing forcible eviction from a refugee camp where they have been living since the January 2010 earthquake. Representatives of the landowner, and local police officers, have been threatening and harassing them. Hurah representatives were in touch with AI as well as people who know the situation and the situation definitely appeared as officially described. Now, however, September 2012 we haven’t been able to get in touch with anyone and we don’t know the situation of the refugees.
Amnesty International Alert (click for PDF)

II – Praise for Director General, Mario Andresol, Haitian National Police

Aug. 15, 2012

Dear Director General,
Here is a commentary I made after reading about Haiti Liberté’s article
on your alleged crimes and the nomination of a new Director General.

Thank you for all your assistance on behalf of some of the most deprived
Haitians.

Tom Luce, Organizer, Hurah, Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti

———–

Aug. 15, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:
I’ve written about my personal experiences with DG Andresol in another
place, but after reading this article again, I feel I should repeat them
again. I am not a partisan human rights advocate and have fought against
whomever commits human rights abuse.

But as a human rights advocate–on the crime ridden ground, in the
jails, courts, in the aftermath of the soccer massacre and house
burnings of 05 and 06, (click for history of Grand Ravine), I have experienced Mr. Andresol’s effectiveness
and concern for common people being abused by the police.

Soon after the soccer massacre (05) he was in office only a week or so
and involved himself–against the illegal Latortue regime–with Grand
Ravine’s victims. He ordered an investigation into the killings. His
dept’s report and the arrests were overturned by Judge Peres Paul, yes.
But that is another story. He is on record condemning the government
powers.

It was RNDDH that totally condemned the controls on the Haitian police
ordered by MINUSTAH after the soccer massacre to not undertake any more
such plans (Soccer Massacre) to root out Lavalas “rat pa caca”.
DG Andresol continued to support the community-based human rights advocacy
I was involved in with AUMOHD, the non-partisan, non-violent Haitian
legal assistance project. He had already separated himself from the
RNDDH supported plan to give complete autonomy to the Haitian police.
DG Andresol answered our calls when the police in several communities
where we had citizen councils in place were beating/imprisoning/kidnapping citizens.
His support for this citizen-led watchdog approach to human rights was strong even to the extent of
endorsing the President of AUMOHD for a human rights award at the Haiti
Diaspora Unity congress in Miami in 2009.

We have no money, nor do we have any connections with any US government
or other sources. DG Andresol certainly gets nothing but our respect
from his professional dealings with us. I am not unaware of the
multitude of intrigues within the governments of Haiti, US, etc. the
crime and corruption. I certainly would not support forgetting any
crimes alleged to anyone including DGAndresol. But he does deserve his
day in court–not the way they are conducted now, of course!

Please know that my experience with DG Andresol was positive and made me
believe he supported human rights advocacy along lines compatible with
my own–unlike Latortue, Préval (basically absent in my areas), and
definitely what is happening now with the Martelly approach.

Thanks.
Tom

Tom Luce, Organizer
Hurah – Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti
Note: As I have come to expect from Mr. Andresol, he immediately sent me a thank you for this report.

Posted by: P. Luce | July 6, 2012

HELP OUR KIDS (170) IN GRAND RAVINE!

KEEP 170 HAITIAN KIDS IN SCHOOL!  Keep these kids from the streets and child slavery. They need tuition money to finish this year, #2,  and to start year 3! Please check us out at INDIEGOGO http://www3.indiegogo.com/poor-haitians-in-school Thanks!  Tom Luce
Posted by: P. Luce | May 21, 2012

HELP REFUGEES AT CAMP GRACE!

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
05.20.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,
dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor

For All Supporters
of Human Rights For Quake Refugees!

Amnesty International Alert (click for PDF)

Dear Friends:


A good Hurah colleague has asked me to pass on this sad story of one of the camps for eathquake victims, “Grace Village”, Carrefou, Haiti. The man who claims to be the property owner has been trying to evict the victims from his property and Amnesty Int. is reporting it involves violence.

I have seen myself the same situation
where property owned by Churches, schools, municipalities as well as private owners have been in a hurry and willing to use violent means to remove people-quake refugees– from their only home. The owners argue that they have to “clean” their property, get it back to its original use, etc.

If you Google this name of this camp you can try to make sense out of a very conflicting story. But, please read the story below backed up by Amnesty International and then take action below. Where you end up understanding situation will be another big story.

I will send a letter to each official in the name of Hurah, but individuals are also encouraged to write and recruit others. Impact is with numbers of letters and the international spotlight.

Thanks!

Tom


From a Grace Camp Worker via AI
Afterward is a French Letter adapted to all officials

—————————————
May 17, 2012

Friends and Comrades:

Since November I have worked in Grace Village, a camp in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince.
After the earthquake, more than 15,000 people settled in the empty plot
around the Grace Village church. Today, approximately 3,000 Haitians remain.
The majority have been forcibly evicted or have left the camp because
of the degree of terror and violence. The man claiming to be landowner
employs a team of private security guards who patrol the camp with big
shotguns. They tear down tents at random. They beat residents. They prohibit
residents from removing trash from the camp or clean the latrines. They
do not allow any outside organizations, including the State water company,
to come inside. They call the police to arrest those who resist. Female
residents report that they are sexually harassed, told that they will
lose their tents if they do not sleep with the guards.

It is clear that the goal of the owner is to make life so awful that
people will leave. The problem is that the residents have nowhere to go.
Hundreds, if not thousands, live in makeshift shelters in the streets
bordering the camp.

When colleagues and I were in Grace Village a few weeks ago, one of the
security guards fired his shotgun into the air a foot or so from where
we stood. When I was in the camp last Wednesday, local police arrived
to arrest the residents with whom I was meeting. They were charged with
hitting one of the security guards. No evidence or testimony against them
was ever presented. They spent five nights in jail before we could get
them released.

I am working with a Haitian attorney, Patrice Florvilus, who is filing
a case against the guards for their illegal, violent acts. The justice
system in Haiti, however, works slowly. At best.

Amnesty International has two staff members on mission in Haiti. They
arrived Sunday and spent all Monday in Grace Village. They released an
urgent action notice that asks Amnesty members and supporters to contact
Haitian authorities and demand an end to the human rights abuses in Grace
Village. Amnesty’s Action Alert is included below. (Editor: see PDF attached.)

I have drafted short emails that you can copy and paste and send to the
relevant Haitian authorities. Here, too, are photos from the camp:
CAMP PICS

Thank you for reading and for caring about something that may feel very
far away.

Kenbe (hold firm),

Ellie


DRAFT EMAIL:

Cher M. Le Premier Ministre (Prime Minister Lamothe)  ecrire@laurentlamothe.com
Cher M. Le Directeur (Director of National Police Mr. Andresol) marioandresol@yahoo.fr
Cher M. Le Maire: (Mayor Jerome of Carrefour) mairiedecarrefour@hotmail.com

Je suis conscient des abus continus des droits humains dans le camp de “Grâce Village”, un camp qui est une maison à Carrefour pour des milliers de personnes déplacées à l’intérieur. J’ai lu que les familles ont vu leurs tentes arrachées. Ils n’ont nulle part où aller. J’ai lu, aussi, que les gardes de sécurité privés menacent les résidents et harcellent sexuellement les femmes. J’ai lu que les résidents ont été renfermés à l’intérieur des murs du camp. Les observateurs des droits nous disent que la police de Carrefour a été complice dans les violations des droits de l’homme et, dans certains cas, ont perpétré d’autres abus tels que de fausses arrestations et ont subi des coups physiques.

Je vous prie, (title), de tenir tous responsables à un niveau plus élevé de professionnalisme et de respect. Je demande que vous utilisiez votre position d’autorité pour intervenir. Je vous demande d’exiger immédiatement que personne ne soit expulsé dans le village sans procédure régulière, un préavis suffisant, et à la consultation. Je demande que toutes les restrictions à l’entrée et la sortie au Camp Grâce Village soient immédiatement enlevées et que les autorités commencent à travailler avec les résidents pour améliorer les conditions sanitaires et la santé dans le camp.

Je vous exhorte, vous aussi, à soutenir une enquête sur les violations des droits de l’homme dans Grâce Village Camp par les actions d’hommes de sécurité privée du camp, le propriétaire, et la police locale.

Il n’est pas dans le meilleur intérêt de personne, riche ou pauvre, de propriétaires terriens ou des sans-abri, à Carrefour d’ignorer la situation dans le Village de Grace. Les résidents qui ont fait face à une expulsion forcée vivent maintenant dans les rues, souvent dans la rue Saint-Charles et Lametin 52. Ils n’ont nulle part où aller à la salle de bain. Ils bloquent la circulation. Non seulement est-ce qu’ils sont à risque pour leur sécurité personnelle, ils présentent un risque pour la santé publique à tous les résidents de Carrefour.

Le gouvernement d’Haïti doit démontrer qu’il ne tolérera pas les violations des droits de l’homme menées par des fonctionnaires à tous les niveaux du gouvernement. S’il vous plaît utilisez votre position de direction pour montrer que “tout moun se moun”. Promouvez les droits des personnes déplacées à Grace Village, Carrefour.

Merci!

Tom Luce


Tom Luce, Organizer
Hurah – Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti
1515 Fairview St. Apt. C
Berkeley, California 94703-2317
E-mail: president@hurah.org
Web: http://hurah.org
Home: 510-229-3556
SkypeIn: 510-423-0260
Skype:tomluce
MagicJack: 510-229-3571

Buy our book, ‘The Challenges of Judicial Reform in Haiti” by Jean Sénat Fleury (http://www.lulu.com/content/7738897)

To donate (not tax exempt)
Tom Luce as above
Make check out to Hurah

Posted by: P. Luce | April 26, 2012

LONG HAUL TO JUSTICE-NONVIOLENTLY

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
04.10.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,
dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor

Dear Friends,

We’ve been busy!

Thanks to several donations here is what we’ve been able to do:

  • We have met our commitment to Gentilhomme! We had
    to make repairs on his motorbike. We have paid his rent for the year.
    Then there are the monthly expenses: phone, internet, gas. And there
    will be unforeseen and special events. Please consider contributing
    as below.
  • Justice for Gran Ravine: Then GH and a Hurah ally,
    Nadine Dominique have been very instrumental in helping an historic
    major step in pursuing justice for the Gran Ravine victims
  • Hope For Haiti:Education:Gentilhomme has been busy keeping
    in touch with our Grand Ravine partners in the 170 student scholarship
    program.
  • Watchdogging The Political Struggles: with help from
    Gentilhomme I’ve been jumping into the political arena where the President
    and Parliament are severely at odds causing a lot of stress. Specifically
    I have written in defense of Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles, someone I
    have known and worked with on public witness, who has led an inquiry
    into the citizenship of the President. I have underscored the absolute
    necessity of the separation and balance of powers and mutual respect
    in a democracy. See our blog and check out the menu to the right for
    Action-Research

I need to ask for $108
now to renew our website where we have our archival files on the Grand
Ravine and Central Plateau group cases.

Thanks!

Tom


The Long Haul To Justice For Grand Ravine
2005-???:

Review the History (click left)

AUMOHD OFFICE March
5, 2012: Our own Gentilhomme (2nd r), our ally Nadine Dominique (3rd r),
and a half dozen victims from Grand Ravine meet to continue putting the
case together for justice dating from 2005-06, massacres and houseburnings.
The meeting, as usual over the last 7 years was facilitated/organized
by our partners, the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (GR-CHRC) and AUMOHD

BLOODY MILESTONES In August of 05 and
again in 06 there were three massacres that totaled about some 70 dead
and 300+ house burnings involving Grand Ravine innocent men, women and
children. These were victims of political backlash, part of the violent
coup against Pres. Aristide which has been reported to rise to 8,000 dead
and 35,000 rapes between 04 and 06. (See LANCET.study.).
Their crime: accused of being Aristide supporters, members of the Lavalas
party. I call this the absurd but all too prevalent, “War by Proxy”,
wherein poor people are convinced of their vital interest in shooting
their neighbors who are supposedly political enemies. In this case it
was opponents of Aristide/Lavalas taking revenge once they obtained power
in February 04 and gained support from the interim regime of a Haitian
man from Florida, Gérard LaTortue.(illegally named Prime Minister
by pressure from the US, France and Canada.)

The non-violent approach: In this most unique approach,
AUMOHD, supported by Hurah, organized the 05 victims into an advocacy
group, helping to get the dead identified and documented for prosecuting
the people, including government officials–police especially–guilty
of this crime. Without this unique support these victims would have been
abandoned and forgotten and relegated to the history bins as one more
group victimized by the War By Proxy so prevalent in poor countries taught
by rich/powerful countries that “might is right”. The route
is tortuous and long as most cases that go through the courts and avoid
the violent process. It takes a tremendous amount of faith in a system
that is always flawed, but seriously so in Haiti. AUMOHD has worked laying the groundwork for judicial reparations as you can read in the history
So far one key case has been prosecuted only to be undone by the very
people in charge when Grand Ravine’s government sponsored crimes occurred.
This was the Raboteau Massacre prosecuted successfully by the Haitian law firm,
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux–partnered with the Institute for Justice
and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Other cases have been fought with some
success internationally. We are hoping for success for Grand Ravine. It
is a long, painstaking, slow haul.

“Idalia” twice victimized–son
killed, home burned, small business destroyed–has maintained faith in
the process as wel as the main core of victims. Leaders such as current
President Point-du-Jour and 3rd President Joseph (included in the first
picture above) continue to pursue justice, non-violently.

HALTING STEPS, ADD CENTRAL PLATEAU: The many years of work by AUMOHD did
manage to get on the agenda of the Haitian government which began an agreement
to pay reparations–the government was party to the injuries. The Prime
Minister at the time (07), Mr. Alexis combined Grand Ravine and Central
Plateau
(click for history) cases–in the hundreds. No other
advocacy group was helping these victims. Then in 08 the Haitian Parliament
fired Alexis over the food crisis. That sent the Grand Ravine/Central
Plateau cases back into oblivion. Not as far as the GR-CHRC or AUMOHD
is concerned. And Hurah.

This year’s planning was facilitated by Gentilhomme
long involved with AUMOHD’s work. Immediately after hearing about the
need for Creole translators, Nadine Dominique volunteered. Nadine is the
daughter of Jean Dominique, leading radio journalist assassinated in 2000
and champion for exposing the injustices of the Duvalier regimes. Nadine
has worked with Hurah in the area of cooperative development and rural
sustainable development. She advocates, of course, for the victims of
the Duvalier regimes, her family being one such victim.

HELP! At this point
specific plans cannot be publicized but there will continue to be a great
need for financial and personnel support to keep the justice process going.
Obviously it will have to entail going beyond Haiti to get any justice.
Stick with us. Help us keep Gentilhomme supported. Write us for more details.


Hurah’s Blog: for an archive of previous bulletins and history

To Donate:

1. Check to “Hurah” 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. DWOLLA: DWOLLA
is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying to move away
from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer–or nothing
if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation toHurah
at this address:
president@hurah.org

Posted by: P. Luce | February 15, 2012

New Year Revival!

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
02.15.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah

(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,700 members dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)

Hurah’s Blog
:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)

Tom Luce, Editor

“Old/Former” Supporters’ Edition

Dear Friend,


We’re back! Tom Luce here in Berkeley, and Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles (r)
in Port-Au-Prince. And, we hope, you. We have a big boost from a new donor.
Read on!

This is a new year pitch for you to stay with us in a reborn Hurah, a
group of advocates for human rights in Haiti. We’ll do what we’ve always done– advocate in person, on the internet, P.O. Boxes. We’re without
corporate status now and seek no funding except for providing Gentilhomme
some expense money as he still volunteers for us.

This is already happening thanks to a generous donation from a new donor.
Gentilhomme, our onsite “Defender of Human Rights” will be there
as our eyes and ears, as an advocate for specific issues. For new
folks, GH has been in the camps, working on our ag coop project, researching,
and being central to Hope
For Haiti:Education
, the scholarship program for 170 children
in Gran Ravin–a volunteer role basically. He hosts me and is my ride
whenever I am in PAP.

Community
Human Rights Council-CHRC

There are actually many more of us. Those
of you who have been with us from the beginning know how unique the Haitians
are whom we have supported, embodied in the model of the Community
Human Rights Council-CHRC
.

We–Hurah, Inc–helped AUMOHD, our Haitian legal assistance partner, for
6 years to build 4 CHRC’s in the capital, groups of volunteers willing
to put themselves on the line to stand up for human rights over partisan,
violent battles. In the aftermath of the illegal overthrow of the Aristide
government it was a matter of life and death, the “war by proxy”
for our friends. One, Esterne Bruner, was brutally murdered, another,
Frantzco Joseph, was driven out of the area and we provided safe house
and protection for his wife and 2 children.

Above is an historic photo, Aug 07, when Hurah was able to bring financial
support for opening up an office, a visible, bold presence as the GR-CHRC
vowed to honor their fallen president, Esterne Bruner. They lost all this
in the ’10 quake but they are still there advocating. They are the managers
of the 170 student scholarship program, Hope
For Haiti:Education
we’ve consulted on with St. Columba
Parish in Oakand.


GRAND RAVINE LEADERS

June ’11: Here I am with (l) Frantzco Joseph
#3 President of the GR-CHRC whom we had to rescue from death threats in
09-10, and (r) Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, the current #4 President. These
are fathers/husbands of children of their own, teachers, plus community
leaders. They have been risking their lives beyond being busy by being
responsible for handling money in a very crime-prone area. My hopes with
the reborn “Hurah” are that we can help these men and their
compatriots to bring more support to their community. After the scholarship
program for 170 children, Hope
For Haiti:Education
we’re starting on water and nutrition
problems.

FUTURE STATUS:SUPPORTERS

O.K. If you wish to stay with us there is
nothing you have to do. I’ll keep your name in our active data base. If
you wish to leave us, simply send an “Unsubscribe” e-mail to
Tom Luce Should
you want donate money we will keep track, but are no longer tax exempt.
If we develop more specific plans that could use some money, we’ll let
you know the details.

As issues arise that need our endorsement,
like, for example, signing a petition calling for the prosecution of Jean-Claude
Duvalier, I will sign for Hurah. I’ll send a draft to you if time permits and you can “opt out”. I won’t publish your name anywhere in any case. I just state the number of our supporters. There is much that is disturbing in the
political scene for the future of human rights. If you are not comfortable
with this, you may “unsubscribe” by e-mailing me now. Tom
Luce

Thanks so much! And best wishes to all your
family and friends.

Sincerely

Tom


Hurah’s
Blog
: for an archive of previous bulletins and history

To Donate:

1. Check to “Hurah” 1515 Fairview
St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. DWOLLA:
DWOLLA is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying
to move away from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer,
or nothing if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation
toHurah at this address:
president@hurah.org


Posted by: P. Luce | August 11, 2011

Free The Children!

” PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI
The news bulletin of Hura 6.14.11

Tom Luce
, Editor

Free The Children To Learn!

Dear Friends,

Phew! The heat has arrived. 97+F here in
the shade. Sunday I was wiped out by being in the sun too much on the
motorbike, going to St. Bernadette’s and Grand Ravine. I had to take a
long nap. Eyes stinging with sweat. Now I’m much better having bought
a fan ($58) and a makeshift sweat band!

Today I’m putting forth the biggest challenge
that is facing us on this end in Haiti: Securing our people, kids, parents,
teachers, Community leaders.

I
sit here on the nice side of the city watching the kids come home here
in their uniforms. I can chat with them, no problem. But I can’t even
go over to Grand Ravine and visit our kids, schools, parents! I’m working
on this and I hope you’ll be able to support me.

On Wednesday I meet with Fr. André
about possible twinning. Thursday is the big gathering with the children
at one of the safer schools. We’ll have a snack, take pics and meet with
the staff afterward to go over our “Vision” paper.

Thanks for all you are doing to make this
possible. You can be sure you’re making a lot of folks happy.

Sincerely,

Tom Luce


INDEX TO TODAY’S UPDATE:click
on the title below to go directly to the section you prefer.

1. CAMPAIGN TO SECURE
GRAN RAVINE

2. FORMAL TWINNING?

3. LIFE DAY BY DAY


#1. CAMPAIGN
TO SECURE GRAN RAVINE

Pic 1: Grand Ravine from below

Grand Ravine is the hill top community
in the upper center of this pic. Population around 30,000. It extends
down the ravine to the next community connected, Martissant. I gave
you the recent history of violence there. Now in 2011 I find it totally
unacceptable that our partners are not safe in relating to us, that
I can’t make normal in-class visits, that we can’t celebrate our sharing.
So I’ve been working on a campaign. I’ve written to Pax
Christi
– Haiti and International (the current Sec. Gen.
is a renowned Haitian leader, Claudette Werleigh) — to the Irish “Frontline
Defenders
” who have supported Grand Ravine in the
past, and to the Catholic Bishops’ Commission on Peace and Justice.
Maybe St. Columba could enlist some allies to join the campaign?
That’s a start and I’ve asked them for ideas, whether they can help
the GR-CHRC. Of course eventually this will have to involve the state
agencies–police, judiciary etc.– if there is going to be real peace
with justice. But you can imagine what would happen if we started by
calling the police! A non-violent group? No. So we need moral support,
visibility for non-violent practitioners. You know the MLK, Gandhi,
Jesus types. The GR-CHRC has a list of priorities that will help build
them up. First is a new office (see below pics #6a, #6b, about a possibility.)

Pic #2: Typical Street in Grand
Ravine

Gentilhomme and I rode motorbike yesterday
after church through Grand Ravine. It looks pretty normal. Everyone
walking around, doing their shopping at the little sidewalk shops. But
the place is outlaw at an unacceptable level. No police protection that
is effective. No respect for judges. Crooks preying on people with “money”
connections.

Pic #3: Marvelous Haitian Bus in
Grand Ravine: Merci Jesus! Thanks Jesus!

Pic #4 Nicole, our Catholic member
of the GR-CHRC

It was quite clear that serious precautions
have to be taken to protect our friends. Yesterday Nicole agreed to meet
us after the 6am Mass and she could not spend any time with us except
to renew acquaintances (I’ve worked with her since 05). This simply has
to be changed.

Pic #5 GR-CHRC Franzco Joseph (3rd
president, now VP), Ernest Point-du-Jour President

So yesterday after Mass and chatting with
Nicole, we talked about the campaign to secure Grand Ravine. They want
very much to do what has to be done. They are willing to work on increasing
their visibility, spreading the news of non-violent ways to work for justice.
They want their office back. I’ve offered to help them form a cooperative as a way to earn money. A friend of mine put me onto a program that
is giving away free portable
classrooms
that would be ideal for this. We’re hoping shipping costs will be paid by a Florida donor. We will need to get furniture and equipment.
This would be where they would have materials, meetings, a showcase for
human rights.They have been doing this since the massacres and house burnings
in 05-06. Franzco had to be evacuated in 08-09 with his family. But he
is still working for the CHRC-GR.

Pic #6a CHRC-GR Office, financed
by Hurah in 09, destroyed by the quake; #6 b Free portable module from
a coalition using Florida surplus buildings.

Pic #6b. Free portable module Website:portables4haiti.org

Free Portable Classroom!

O.K. what about Hope for Haiti:Education?
Isn’t this more than enough to be working on? Of course, but even if St.
Columba cannot help the CHRC-GR financially, there is plenty to contribute–moral
support, exchanges, accompaniment etc–to help them. And remember it’s
because of them that the children were recruited out of a crowd of very
poor families, that the 5 Catholic schools closest to their homes for
safety were selected. Managing the purchase of materials, paying the schools,
keeping track of the kids–a big job, all volunteer. They need help with
internet services, transportation, materials and training in non-violence,

-back to index-


#2. FORMAL TWINNING?

Pic #7 Fr. Frank Rouleau, Twinning
Director for Norwich, Conn. Diocese Click here to see their website and
to download information:
TWINNING
Applications are handled through the Norwich office as noted.

Before the earthquake for over 20 years
the Diocese of Norwich, Conn had two major programs in Port-Au-Prince,
Hospice St. Joseph and Norwich House. The Hospice was both a guest house
and a major clinic for people from the area of Christ Roi, another inner
city area. Norwich House was a guest house for visitors from twinning
parishes. The program now has some 18 parishes in the Archdiocese and
is rebuilding its former programs into one.

Pic #8 Hospice St. Joseph, upper
guest rooms survived, clinics demolished.

This is where I stayed first and got my
boot camp training in 2004. It was where we were able to put freed prisoners
into hiding who were at risk of being shot. A nostalgia trip for me. In
terms of whether we should do a formal “twinning”, a place like
this would provide us with guest space and the renewed program will provide
orientation to Haitian realities–the beautiful and the sad.

Pic #9 Nostalgia my original room
in front, the PAP bay in back

Pic #10 St. Bernadette parish church

O.K.back to realities and the tougher side
of town. Do we need to formalize a “twinning” arrangement with
Norwich and the Archdiocese of PAP? We need to check out the requirements.lick
here: TWINNING
Right now we’re doing the real thing, providing education for the poorest
kids in one of the most dangerous spots in the city. I’ll talk with Fr.
André on Wednesday about this. He has his list of needs, of course.
I’ve pointed out that we are very limited and we want to put our educational
service into a religious context, working to join hands and hearts with
his parishioners. Our “mission” statement does talk about other
programs, i.e. microcredit. The church buildings are intact and there
are obviously programs ongoing there.

Pic #11 Catholic Relief Services
continues to do a mammoth service to Haiti- Hospice St. Joseph, “We’re
Together In Haiti!

I haven’t noticed Catholic Relief Services
signs in Grand Ravine such as there are here at Hospice St. Joseph. Maybe
we could help Fr. André tap into CRS? I’m meeting with Dr. Paul
Farmer’s rep tomorrow and she may have some health services available.

-back to index-


#3. LIFE DAY
BY DAY

Pic #12 LATEST INUNDATION- Yeah,
that’s me taking pics on the bike! On our way to GR.

Pic #13 How much more can they take?
There are still the major hurricanes to come.

Pic #14 Sure is rough going on the
side streets, had to get off bike on our way to Fr. Rouleau!

Pic #15 No wonder the Hurah donated
bike needs regular repairs, already just since I’ve been here!

Pic #16 I take credit for pushing
full sun power to run AUMOHD’s office including freezers! No, Hurah didn’t
pay, AFL-CIO did.

While I’m really in a chatty mood, let me
point out that in terms of “twinning” there has always been
the guest house facility connected with these programs. Our first program,
Parish Twinning of the Americas, has Matthew 25 house. I am the invited
guest–for free- here at the AUMOHD offices. So if people wanted to come
and stay, that is a question. We don’t have to be in a formal “twinning”
arrangement to use these guest houses
. BTW the price per day has now
risen to about $45 per day which covers bed, breakfast and dinner. Transportation
to/from airport and special trips is extra.

Pic #17 Last night we had a rainbow
from the south, taken from our upstairs porch.

-back to index-

========================================================================

If you are interested in supporting Hurah
as it winds its official “tax-exempt” self down, CLICK
HERE TO DONATE
Online and see our projected needs. Send Checks
to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703
Even
after June 30, we’ll still be glad to receive monetary help and/or solidarity
work in pursuing human rights.

========================================================================

If you are interested in the St. Columba
scholarship program please check out their Facebook page to find out more
about it and how to contribute Hope
For Haiti: Education
This program is specifically for Grand
Ravine. There are many other “Hope for Haiti” projects dealing
with education. Certainly Grand Ravine deserves major attention. To get
the particulars about St. Columba Parish, go to their website at St
Columba Parish, Oakland, CA.

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click
here.Or mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

-back to index-

Posted by: P. Luce | August 11, 2011

Revisiting Grand Ravine-June ’11 Trip

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
6.5.11
The news bulletin of Hurah, Inc.
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,

dedicated to non-partisan, non-violent basic human
rights action for the disenfranchised in Haiti (soon to become an informal
group committed to the same ideals)

Tom Luce, Editor

Dear Friends,

You are now one of 42 people from different
parts of my life connected to justice for the poorest of disenfranchised
Haitians. Some on this list have been with my organization, Hurah, since 2004.  See our blog at HURAH

Some are family. Some are in a new group of friends, the “Hope for Haiti: Education” committee of St. Columba Parish in Oakland. Click here to learn more: Hope For Haiti: Education

Both groups are connected because of basic
human rights advocacy in Haiti. I started out in 04 limiting our work
to the basics: life, freedom, legal resolution of disputes. From 2004-06
some 8000 people lost their lives in political conflicts, thousands more
were jailed illegally. Much of the violence was government involved. Hurah
and our partner, AUMOHD concerned ourselves with the most disenfranchised,
poor Haitians in the slums of Port-au-Prince and a couple of country areas.
We did good work. But now I’m finishing out the last month of “Hurah”
because this basic human rights work is most difficult to sustain, financially
and volunteer-wise. On June 30 Hurah will cease to exist as a 501(c)(3)
organization. I will continue on advocating using the name Hurah as a
group of interested advocates.We will continue to accept donations, but
won’t have the tax-exempt status.

So with these updates on my current “mission”
to Haiti, I’m working on tying up Hurah business in pursuing basic justice:
1) the “Soccer” massacre of 05; 2) promoting opportunities for
cooperative economical development among the poor, and 3) the latest project,
an expansion into advocacy for education that the St. Columba scholarship
committee has taken on with the most violent and deprived community in
Haiti, Grand Ravine.

Pleas know that I count you all as friends
of Haiti and I thank you profoundly for being with them in whatever way
you can.

Sincerely,

Tom Luce


INDEX TO TODAY’S UPDATE:

click on the title below to go directly
to the section you prefer

1. GRAND RAVINE–SOCCER
MASSACRE (St. Bernadette Park)
2. ST. BERNADETTE CHURCH
2.
TRIBUTE TO JEAN DOMINIQUE CHAMPION RADIO
JOURNALIST

3. BONUS-DELMAS-CORN


#1. GRAND RAVINE:
Struggling for justice
SOCCER MASSACRE – Aug 20, 2005

The “Soccer” Massacre at St. Bernadette soccer stadium in the Martissant section of Port-au-Prince, Aug. 20, 2005, followed by another massacre on Aug. 21, 2005 in the nearby Grand Ravine “commune”, noted for its violent, “outlaw”
conditions. A 3rd massacre and burning of 300 homes occurred in July 06
and Esterne Bruner, #2 President of the Community Human Rights Council-Grand
Ravine, was assassinated.

For those wanting more details of this shocking, government perpetrated killing spree, go to this site as a starter:SOCCER MASSACRE

I was up north in Haiti on Aug. 20 accompanying people demonstrating for fair elections when I heard about a police organized massacre of some 50 people right in the St. Bernadette soccer stadium filled with 5,000 people. I came right back to Port-au-Prince to work with our Haitian human rights legal team, AUMOHD, in identifying victims, bodies, providing protective services and setting the stage for
prosecution of the perpetrators including many key police staff.
It
was a political vengeance act against people identified as supporters
of the ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Residents of Grand Ravine
were specifically targeted.

Today 6 years later I returned to the scene for the first time, stopping first at the church, St. Bernadette, and then the soccer field which is now a tent city filled with quake refugees. AUMOHD is now engaged with a legal team from Seton Hall university pursuing justice for these victims at the Interamerican Commission For Human Rights (IACHR). I’m here to help them coordinate matters. First the IACHR must hear the complaint and, if valid, the case can be referred to the Interamerican
Court For Human Rights which can pressure member states to take action.
NOTE: The US signed the convention setting up the IACHR and the
Court, but never has ratified it, a step necessary to officially engage
the US. Once again the US is avoiding any responsibility as a member of
the OAS.

-back to index-

#1: St. Bernadette Stadium: meeting
rooms, terraces for spectators (right) facing what was once the soccer
field, now a tent city with quake refugees living there.

#2 The soccer field tent city. Today
I couldn’t spent much time there getting information on this specific
camp. I was told that there were some “bad” people around who
could become difficult if we spent much time there, if not for me, for
my companions from the area. Life is unbelievably desperate in these camps.
Just the living conditions are abysmal. There are rampant crimes committed
in many of these places, rape being one of the major crimes that don’t
get prosecuted.

#3: Ernest Point-Du-Jour, father
of two young children and a primary school teacher (L) is the fourth president
of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council formed in 05 with Hurah’s
help to bring people together–victims, families, community leaders to
deal with this crime perpetrated by the government. The first president
was driven away by violent threats. The second president was brutally
assassinated for doggedly pursuing justice non-violently and in a non-partisan
way for his community. The third president, Franzco Joseph, had to be
ferreted out of the community for safe housing with his children and wife.
He still is active in the CHRC from outside the community.

#4 The latest stats on cholera
in Haiti: 321,066 cases seen since the beginning of the outbreak, including
5,337 deaths. Massive hygiene education and water purification programs
have still not brought the disease under control. This mural is in the
St. Bernadette soccer camp.
-back
to index-

2. St.
Bernadette Parish: Martissant

St. Bernadette Church, the parish
that covers Grand Ravine, potential parish “twin” with St. Columba
in working on the challenges facing Grand Ravine. A parish “mission”
chapel exists in Grand Ravine, Holy Family, which needs support in the
non-violent struggles for justice.

#5. Right next to the soccer stadium/refugee
camp is the church from which it gets its name. (The soccer field is/was
not a church project) It is a vibrant community. Today we attended the
8am Mass with probably a couple hundred worshippers. The reason for going:
St. Columba Parish in Oakland, Ca. in its commitment to engage in a social
justice project in Haiti accepted my recommendation to focus on one of
the most violent, “outlaw” communities in the city, one of the
most deprived sections in terms of services. The victims of the St.Bernadette
massacre were from the neighboring community of Grand Ravine. This certainly
makes them eligible as a people at the top of the list of human rights
abuses and without the supports other more peaceful communities also suffering
from the quake. St. Columba has chosen Grand Ravine. The Catholic parish
covering Grand Ravine is St. Bernadette. St. Columba would like to establish
a “twin”, “sister” parish relationship.

#6. Seemingly unharmed by the earthquake,
this is a large capacity church. There are two other Masses on Sunday.

#7. The St. Bernadette choir led
us in Haitian style music.

#8. The Pastor is Fr. Laguerre Pierre
André

#9 At the “Kiss of Peace”
everyone went around and embraced or shook hands

#10 After Mass Fr. André
and I met along with Ernest Point-du-Jour and Hurah rep, Gentilhomme (who
took all the pictures!). Fr. André is very interested in establishing
a sister-parish relationship with St. Columba. He appreciates the context
in which the St. Columba scholarship program was created, a response to
one of the most impoverished, violent and victimized communities in Haiti
with which he has a spiritual relationship. He has known about the Grand
Ravine Community Human Rights Council and its leader, Mr. Point-du-Jour,
and of course, he knows the 5 schools (all Catholic) which have the 170
children sponsored by St. Columba. He told us that this coming week the
“mission chapel” of the Holy Family which is St. Bernadette’s
outpost in Grand Ravine is holding a five day retreat. He advised me not
to come and participate because of the serious security and violence problems
there that would be exacerbated by a “stranger” coming in. So
the theme of violence and how to bring people to work peacefully for justice
is still the topmost in the lives of the Grand Ravine people. Educating
170 children is a great step toward righting the injustices there. Much
more collaboration among all agencies in the community will be required
before real peace with justice will arrive. Hopefully the energy and force
for “peace” within this parish will aid a lot in the struggles
of the Community Human Rights Council of Grand Ravine.

-back to index-

3.
Jean Dominique, champion radio journalist

#11.
Not directly connected, except for the fact that I am staying not far
from it, is the remnants of the famous “Radio Haiti” station
which was founded and run by the man made known in the English world with
the movie, “The Agronomist”, Jean Dominique. His conversion
from agronomy to cutting edge multimedia journalism gave hope to the people
and shivers to those who didn’t want to hear the truth about injustice
in Haiti. His valiant work got him killed in the end, in 2000. I happened
to have spent 1960-64 at a university in Rome, Italy, with his cousin,
Fr. Max Dominique, who was a courageous resister against the Duvalier
regime which persecuted the Dominiques and thousands of others. One of
our colleagues, a daughter of Jean’s, is now working with us to promote
cooperative economies in Haiti. In growing ruins with age and an earthquake,
this place is a monument to courageous journalism and truth-telling. His
truth and example will live on. Link to sign petition to prosecute DUVALIER
We have to keep up the pressure on all international agents to bring this
matter to justice. It is the way we build confidence in the rule of law.
It is not the time to forget the law and talk about “forgive and
forget”, let’s have a reconciliation process. Impunity is a standard
blight on law abiding societies. Forgiveness is a religious act. Reconciliation
is a religio-civic process that is, of course, highly recommended. But
justice–not vengeance must be carried out.

-back to index-

4.
BONUS- DELMAS – CORN

#12 On our way back from St. Bernadette
I couldn’t help but asking my motorbike driver, Gentilhomme to stop and
grab a shot of what is known as “Delmas” a commune of 379,000
people. I have lived here during the 8 years working in Haiti. It is where
the airport is located. This section is mainly unending rows rows of cement
block apartments with little or no open space, very densely populated.
Other parts where the AUMOHD office is located do have open space, trees,
and single family homes.In the distant east you see the mountains for
which Haiti is named. (Ayiti means mountains, an Arowak word.)

#13.For my urban garden, green, food self-reliant
friends, I thought I should fill in the previous picture with this very
healthy corn field. Till next time.

========================================================================

-back to index-

If you are interested in supporting Hurah
as it winds its official “tax-exempt” self down, CLICK
HERE TO DONATE
Online and see our projected needs. Send Checks
to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703
Even
after June 30, we’ll still be glad to receive monetary help and/or solidarity
work in pursuing human rights.

========================================================================

If you are interested in the St. Columba
scholarship program please check out their Facebook page to find out more
about it and how to contribute Hope
For Haiti: Education
This program is specifically for Grand
Ravine. There are many other “Hope for Haiti” projects dealing
with education. Certainly Grand Ravine deserves major attention. To get
the particulars about St. Columba Parish, go to their website at St
Columba Parish, Oakland, CA.

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit until June 30

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click
here.Or mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

-back to index-

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.